That, I imagine is the thought going through people’s heads when they read the 4th and final part of the most recent Walking Dead story arc – ‘No way Out’.
I know it’s what was going through my head. This arc, which starts out like so many others through-out the course of the book’s history finishes strong, and Kirkman once again proves, in this world, no one is ever safe.
After the jump I’m going to review of the entire 4 Part arc. If you’re a regular reader and don’t want it spoiled, here is my short review: It’s awesome. Go read it.
*MAJOR SPOILERS TO FOLLOW*
Before our story arc begins, there are a couple of key developments that happened in the issues leading up to it. Rick has been put in charge of the town by the founder, and former leader Douglas. He wife just died and he feels he no longer has what it takes to lead. Also, Andrea has been sent to the sniper tower for the day to keep watch through her scope. With the appearance of the herd between her and the town, she is now stuck in her tower.
Walking Dead #80: Chapter 1 – Following the emergence of an entire herd of zombies, Abraham and his group scramble to get the gates closed, but not everyone makes it. The first, but certainly not the last death of the story arc is Bruce. Upon being bitten, and the obvious conclusion he can’t be saved, Abraham smashes Bruce’s head open and puts him out of his misery.
Rick then holds a town hall type meeting to ensure everyone they will be ok, and then he calmly explains the plan moving forward. Extra night watchmen, reinforce weak spots in the perimeter fence, share housing to conserve heat, and ration food. Sounds all good.
The former leader of the town Douglas seems to be cracking however. For some time now he’s been getting worse, and seems relieved that Rick has shown up to take on his responsibilities. After the town meeting, Rick opens up the armory for those who want personal firearm protection. It’s at this time that Rick gives Carl his gun and belt back.
Just then there is a knock at the door. It’s Jessie and her son Ron. Rick had suggested that people start sharing houses, but this is an odd arrangement as Rick killed Jessie’s husband just a few issues back. It’s then just a few pages till Jessie climbs into Rick’s bed to end the issue.
Overall, not the best read of all time when I got it, but it does lay some important groundwork for the issues to come…
Rick exits his house just as Abraham runs up. There’s a problem, the wall is giving. A section of the fence is leaning inward and the zombies are all over it. They back a truck up to the fence to help secure it and then go check for other weak spots.
Glenn, Spencer, and Heath set out to rope their way over the zombies to deliver supplies to Andrea. In their attempt to help her, she once again proves more self-sufficient than most and actually has to help save Spencer when the rope breaks. That’s about when the shit hits the fan.
The truck proves to be not enough to secure the wall and a whole section comes down. Holly goes to find help, while Tobin attempts to hold them off. By the time Rick gets there however, Tobin is zombie-chow and the flood gates are starting to open. Morgan arrives to help out Rick, but in the last panel, he gets chomped.
This issue was a better read than chapter 1, but did feel short. I guess the more action there is, the faster it goes.
Walking Dead #82: Chapter 3 – Issue 82 starts off in the shit. Morgan has just been bit and Michonne flies into the fray, sword in hand and starts decapitating roamers left and right. When she sees Morgan, without hesitation, she severs his arm in hopes of stopping the spread of the disease.
Abraham then marches in like a total badass, complete with posse and flaming torches. They start kicking some serious ass as Rick and Michonne try to get Morgan to safety.
When the assault appears hopeless, the survivors of the town flee into houses for cover. This is the point where we really see how human these book are. Each home housing scared people, scared for themselves and their loved ones.
Andrea and company are still in the tower and they can only watch as the walking dead stumble into the streets of their town. It’s around this time that Andrea’s suggestions of how to help the people below are met by Spencer’s desire for the 2 of them to run off together. To leave Glenn and Heath and all the rest to fend for themselves. Andrea’s Response – a right hook to Spencer’s jaw that lays him out flat, followed by the line: “So that’s about the end of ‘You and Me’.”
Just before the end of the issue, Rick surprisingly suggests to Jessie, just what Spencer has to Andrea. They grab the kids and take off. Of course for Rick this would be a temporary thing until they could figure out how to help the others.
Walking Dead #83: Chapter 4 – The big payoff. This issue starts with Rick convincing Jessie they have to take the kids and make a run for it. Maggie and Sophia are present as well and determine they’d only slow Rick down, so they stay.
We then cut to Douglas’ house where our once noble leader holds a gun to his head. The death of his wife and the falling of the wall are too much for him. Upon seeing the roamers in the road outside his window, he tries to end it all. But it turns out he just can’t go through with it.
Back to Rick’s house we see our protagonist pull a zombie inside and proceed to gut it. They will then wear the zombie innards to disguise the smell, and try to wade though the herd outside unnoticed. As Rick, Jessie, Carl, and Ron prepare to make a run for it, Michonne comes downstairs to inform everyone that Morgan has died. Denise is also present, and Michonne agrees to escort her back to the infirmary.
Once outside Ron panics and starts to cry. This of course draws the attention of the zombies and he is grabbed immediately. Rick insists they keep moving, but Jessie won’t leave her son…she also won’t let go of Carl’s hand. She starts screaming for Rick not to leave her and with tears in his eyes, he takes a hatchet to her wrist, separating her from his son. She is devoured by the hoard and Rick and Carl must move on.
This has all drawn attention obviously, and as the herd moves in on them, Michonne instructs Denise to run while she holds them back. This happens as Douglas emerges from his house, with gun in hand and starts firing to draw attention to himself; suicide by zombie. This distraction should create the room needed to get though for Michonne, Rick, and Carl.
There is a problem however. Douglas’ wild firing is not without consequence. As Rick yells for Douglas to stop shooting, he turns to find one of the stray bullets has removed an entire section of Carl’s face and head.
The last page of the book shows Rick scooping Carl up and sprinting to the infirmary in time to beg Denise she save his boy’s life.
Wow. Awesome. How much does Kirkman hate Rick Grimes?
Now I can’t wait for #84…